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"Day Unto Day" (Milkweed, 2014)

Day Unto Day cover

Six sequences, each written during a single month, focusing on time, mortality, love, war, and other news of the world. BOOK LAUNCH Sunday, March 9, 2:00 PM: see Events

From Day Unto Day

Excerpts from the first sequence:

OVER TIME
     October 2004

1

Not much. Less. Slip
of a finger, diminished
interval, maybe third

of three or two.

Water mirrors house with high
green door opening out (no

steps) into pure air.

2

Air pockets three
hawks. Cat got
the bird got the cat.

Overflown. A habit
of flight. Worn cloud
on the edge of edge.

Wisps. Little tongues.

3

Tongues at work. Talk Today
She could did for an hour or more.
My first her, who gave me words.
Then at the end, before, merely Oh!
A moment of . . . of more, perhaps.
Oh sweet and blessèd could be.
Oh my soul

4

Soul slept, called in sick.

Late sun clouds
the lake with clouds.

Katydid down
to –did –did.

Nothing to be done.

Little sun, quarter moon.

5

Moon covered, un-
covered, covered again, cold.

Cold and hot, very and both.

Disturbed the Sea of Tranquility.

Distributed by the Moon Shop.

Distributed self in pieces.

Oh my broken.

6

Broken down, or out, as in
war, or into, soon: my own him.

How much we carry around
under our skins, many
we were, girls and boys

Now now
And then then.

7

Then gone and then to come:
all the time, except the split
second, except—

All the time in the world.

And out of this world?

Oh little heart on my wrist,
where are we going?

8

Going home: packed her bags
to go back ninety years

burning skirt broken fork
slow train the old house

current counter under cross

The one who gave me time

is out of time.

 

. . . . . . .

27

Evening out. On
the town, out of town:

city wearing your black
dress sequined with lights, I

am coming down for an even-
ing out, in bed beside.

The rest: held by, holding.

28

Holding on the Red
Sox won eclipsing even the full

eclipsed moon a moment outside
the trouble we’ve seen though the TV had

to bring in the war the war that people
believe is good because they want
to believe it’s a winning team

29

Teeming with leaves, trees
and ground all gold

around gray stones: I
am greeting my last
neighbors, we shall

all be changed, pieces
of gold slipping into air.

30

Airborne, air-born, hand-
sized cradle to hold
a soul, no broken-

bough fall. Good
news today, but best

in the air, this old
new leaf, turning it over

31

Over and over again
and again, time

after time, stone
upon hallowed stone.

More than bones, ghost-
thin skin, I’m here, much

less less. Not yet not.

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